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A successful HR strategy helps a company with matters ranging from big-picture HR planning to making daily people decisions. Connie Wong, head of human resources for Metrojet, explains how to create one.

Having worked in human resources for many years, the most common question I get asked is: “What strategic value can a dedicated human resources function bring to an organisation?”

In the past, HR has often been seen first and foremost as an administrative function. However, as organisations became more sophisticated, HR evolved into the business strategic function it is today, encompassing not only the routine HR work, but also critical organisational and people initiatives.

Having a HR strategy helps a company with matters ranging from big-picture HR planning to making daily people decisions. Additionally, it helps create and communicate your value proposition to both existing and prospective employees; letting your employees know what direction the company is headed in terms of people development enables them to engage with these goals and actively contribute to the company’s growth and success.

Having a HR strategy helps a company with matters ranging from big-picture HR planning to making daily people decisions.

Roadmap

Any HR strategy must be aligned with the company’s vision, mission and goals. In developing it, the HR leader must work closely with the business leaders of the company to understand the characteristics of its industry, determine its competitive edge, and identify key people and processes that can create value for their engagement.

When I came to Metrojet, the mission I was given was to make the company an employer of choice and to attract and retain the best-in-class talent to help its continuous growth. The most effective tool to help me achieve that goal was my HR roadmap.

A roadmap helps break up my HR strategy for the next five to 10 years into key functions and attainable objectives that can be achieved. In Metrojet’s case, I created a HR roadmap built around the four key pillars that will help me achieve the company’s goals.

Talent acquisition
A good talent acquisition strategy helps to differentiate Metrojet from competitors. As our business is international, our talent acquisition strategy embraces cultural diversity. Additionally, we believe good people attract good people. Our talent will strengthen our brand to give Metrojet the edge we continuously enjoy in the market, and in turn, make the company appealing to potential employees.

Talent development
Talent development is the key to retaining and developing valuable employees. In an ever-changing business environment, Metrojet’s HR strategy ensures that our talent’s skills and knowledge are always up to date to help maintain their competitiveness.

At Metrojet, we manage talent through rigorous talent management and development programmes. We have developed an academy training model to provide both technical and business skills training to all staff, together with leadership training necessary to develop Metrojet’s future leaders.

In an ever-changing business environment, Metrojet’s HR strategy ensures that our talent’s skills and knowledge are always up to date

Employee engagement
Employee engagement is a key pillar in Metrojet’s HR strategy, and we believe in a 360-degree engagement with our people. Acting as an employee champion, our HR department listens and responds to the employees’ needs by creating organisational and HR policies and programmes that build on strengths and improve weaknesses. We are also creative in understanding our people’s needs and developing policies that are at the forefront of the industry.

HR technology and operational excellence
As a strategic partner working to align the HR and business strategy, HR leaders should recognise the value of technology in helping HR practise automation and standardisation, as well as building organisational capabilities and operational excellence. This is particularly important for companies with a multinational footprint aiming to give all employees the same brand experience.

Over the years, Metrojet has increasingly focused on the development of HR technology because we believe it will prove immensely valuable in sustaining the growth of the business.

In my experience, companies that focus on culture are winning big. Not just because they find it easier to attract and retain talent; their employees also feel more proud which in return creates better engagement with organisational values.

As such, any HR strategy or system at Metrojet must be able to support the effective delivery of messages the company wishes to convey about its values and culture – whether it is in the form of employee rewards and recognition programmes, talent management or recruitment policies.

I truly believe that employees should be any company’s greatest assets. As such, it is essential to have an established HR function in place to help the company drive for further success. By recognising the importance of the function, Metrojet enables my team to progressively create value-adding support for all stakeholders within Metrojet.

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